April 13, 2013
FRISCO - Lamar University will go in search of its fourth Southland Conference women's golf title when the league tournament gets underway Monday morning at Frisco Lakes Golf Club.
This will be the 12th Southland Conference Tournament in women's golf and the Lady Cardinals lead all current league members with three tournament titles. Lamar claimed the championship for the first time in 2003 and also repeated as champion in 2005 and 2006.
Lamar returns four golfers who played in last year's tournament at Vaaler Creek Golf Club when the Lady Cardinals placed third. UTSA and Texas State, both of whom are no longer Southland Conference members, finished first and second, respectively.
The Lady Cardinals have three team titles this season, winning the Oral Roberts Shootout, the Le Triomphe Collegiate Invitational hosted by McNeese State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Islander Classic. Lamar, which has played 10 events this year, also has five top four finishes this year.
"We've won three tournaments this year and have had a really good season," said LU head coach Brian White. "We're the highest ranked team in the conference so we feel like our chances are good, but you have to prove it at the conference championship."
Seven Southland Conference schools will be competing on the par-72, 5,977-yard layout which will be hosting the tournament for the first time. The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days and will get underway with 8 a.m. tee times Monday morning.
"This is a little bit easier golf course which is a disadvantage for us," said White about Frisco Lakes Golf Club. "The harder the golf course, the more we would separate from the field. It's wide open and that brings more teams into the field. On a harder course, our superior ball striking separates us from the field."
In addition to Lamar, Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Oral Roberts, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be in the field. Sam Houston and AMCC are the only current schools other than Lamar to win a team title with the Bearkats winning two and the Islanders taking one.
Two-time all-conference performer Julie Aime
will lead the Lady Cardinals into this year's tournament with a team-best scoring average of 74.97 strokes per round. Aime, who tied for ninth at last year's league tournament, has seven top 10 finishes this year including her third career victory as she won the ULM Fred Marx Invitational in the fall.
Sophomore Nghi Ngo is just behind with a 75.66 scoring average and picked up her first career victory this year when she won at McNeese State. Ngo tied for 22nd at last year's conference tournament as a true freshman.
The final three members of Lamar's lineup will be juniors Katelyn McDougal and Lauren Van Gerven and freshman Taylor Stockton who will be making her conference debut. Stockton is coming off back-to-back top 10 finishes and is averaging 78.38 strokes per round in her first collegiate season.
McDougal placed 13th at the conference tournament a year ago after tying for 23rd as a freshman. The third-year player has a pair of top five finishes this year and is sporting a 78.07 scoring average for 29 rounds.
Van Gerven finished 35th at the conference tournament in 2012 and is averaging 80.21 strokes per round this year. As a true freshman in 2010, Van Gerven tied for 24th at the Southland Conference Championships.